Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Life is fleeting

Christian Albin, executive chef of The Four Seasons, passed away earlier this month, only five days after being diagnosed with cancer. Tonight, we were just told that one of my wife's uncles, whom we visited a couple of years ago, suddenly died. I only met him that one time and wish I had gotten to know him better. He was a gracious and generous host and seemed like a good man.

In his last days, if not last hours, is a good friend of my family. He was only recently diagnosed with cancer himself. He received his brother, who came halfway around the world to pay final respects, but he doesn't want us to visit. His wish is that we stay away so we'll remember him as strong and hale, and we will respect that. He will be missed greatly.

He moved to the United States from the Philippines quite a few years ago, when the Marcoses was in power. Our friend lived in one of his wealthy family's mansions, one that Ferdinand and Imelda happened to notice and desire for a retreat. They arranged for a visa and one-way airfare to New York, and told him to get out of the country "or else."


Blogger Brad said...


First, my condolences on your (impending) loss.

But I can understand your friend's wish.

A few years ago, when my wife and I moved to Georgia, we had the whole family down to visit for Easter. One of my elder aunts was included in that group, who would probably be affectionately called a "spitfire". She was her usual self, and was a great, fun addition to the whole weekend.

Shortly (2-3 months) after that she fell ill, and quickly succumbed, and it was less than probably 6 months after Easter that I was at her funeral. I hadn't seen her in the interim.

Coming away from the experience, I was really glad that my last memory of her was a nice Easter weekend with her in (visually) good health. I can't imagine that I would have made her feel better or vice versa had I seen her while she was sick. I've since said several times how happy I was to remember her as she lived, not how she died.

I'm sure you're faced with many conflicting thoughts about your friend's wishes. I can't say that my experience would be similar to yours. But I can tell you that I am glad that my last memory of my aunt was of her as I remember her in life. If nothing else, I hope this helps you to understand your friend's wishes.

Thursday, June 25, 2009 2:26:00 AM  

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